Pulling Your Weight

It’s snowing and brrrrrr! I couldn’t resist, I had to bake 🙂 I made some vegan brownies and some of those Rhodes rolls that come frozen and you let them rise, then bake ’em, nom. It smells so wonderful in our apartment. It was also so lovely to Skype with the kids today, I’m so thankful we are able to see one another and chat on video. I’m so grateful they are doing well.

Here’s the video I did today.

One of the biggest impacts on our relationships is if we are considerate of one another and pull our weight. If one person is always the one who is managing the majority of household duties while also leading the way and initiating everything, eventually the imbalance will lead to problems. Relationships are partnerships where you work together towards common goals and help one another, each performing their fair share of the heavy lifting.

Of course, we have our strengths and weaknesses, but it is easy to negotiate and decide together what roles and assignments will be best for each of us. Everything works better when there’s more equality, that way there will be less anger and resentment. No one is being exploited and taken advantage of or taken for granted when there is an agreed-upon balance.

Each partner as a mature adult needs to remain mindful, observant, and take initiative and pitch in. No partner should have to be constantly reminding, or instructing a partner what to do. Adults have the ability to see with their own eyes what’s happening, what’s in front of their faces, and what needs to be done. It’s not like some magic fairies come in and keep everything clean, supplied, and efficiently running.

Women should not be expected to do everything and work outside the home too. This is something that needs to change, like yesterday. We no longer have extended family to help out so if there is not equal distribution of responsibilities then there needs to be some form of help like paying for a cleaning service or a nanny, grocery delivery, etc. to take the excess burden off of the woman.

It used to drive me bonkers in one of my former relationships before children where if I didn’t do the housework, it wouldn’t get done. The lion’s share fell to me even though we were both equally busy and working. When I was growing up I did more than my fair share of household duties and sibling sitting on top of all of the other things I was responsible for, I was constantly busy. I felt like Cinderella.

Having children is all-consuming for women and we don’t receive enough help. I believe every mother should have their partners take care of the kids by themselves for at least a week while the mother takes a vacation for herself. Then maybe the partner will have more appreciation for the mother after that and will pitch in more.

I’ve had to constantly address the boundaries until there is eventual compliance, and unfortunately, some people will say they understand and say they’re sorry and will start helping out more and take initiative and then they may make a brief attempt and then go back to their old ways. Their actions don’t line up with their words, it’s just lip service.

Eventually, after playing this game when you’re at the end of your rope you communicate that the relationship will not last unless things change. Then they make a real change though it is very small, you had to threaten them though. It becomes like pulling teeth to make any progress, why? Why is it so hard for people to cooperate and make changes that will benefit the relationship? Why does it have to come to that? They’ll only listen and respect your boundaries when there’s a severe consequence if they don’t?

Is it because it’s hard for people to be adults? Are they just complacent and self-centered takers? Why do some people want to do the bare minimum in life and look to others to take care of everything that they don’t want to or don’t feel like doing? Why do they feel so entitled? Do they have a conscience? Do they not want to make progress in life? Where’s their ambition and industriousness?

Maybe some people have limited capacities and aren’t able to perform so many responsibilities for whatever reasons. Maybe they can’t admit it. In the meantime, you are burned out. What are the choices? You can choose to accept that there is going to be no change or very little progress and be okay with it and try simplifying your life, taking things off your plate, or if you have the means, pay for help. Or you can decide if the relationship is worth keeping or not. Is it a deal-breaker or not? Are you okay with having your partner be dependent, is that the role you wish to play? You’re the go-getter while your partner is riding your coattails?

I wonder if it’s something that certain people are oblivious to, they don’t even pay attention to anything but what’s on their agenda and radar. They’ve become accustomed to what they believe is the norm, the perceived gender roles so they don’t believe it’s their responsibility, they expect to be catered to and indulged. Women are better at that stuff, let them do it. That’s women’s work, that’s beneath me. I’m the master, I’m the king, everyone else is subservient to me. I get to call the shots and do what I want. I wonder if that’s the subconscious attitude driving irresponsible and harmful behavior and neglect. I wonder how many divorces are due to this male toxicity?

Wouldn’t it just be easier to pull our weight? To respectfully communicate with one another and do our very best to be interdependent instead of resisting, neglecting, and sabotaging?

Michelle Miyagi
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